The model presented hereby is a Soviet T-34/85 medium tank, one of the most famous vehicles of the Second World War! It was used by the Red Army from 1944 to the end of 1960s. It is the 12th model I completed, built from May to August 2015.
This model is produced by Tamiya (no. 89563), a firm I appreciate for the easy of assembling and the precision of the joins.
In the box we find three sprues in olive green polystyrene, plus the upper and lower hull parts and, of course, the instruction manual and the decals. Due the predisposition for motorization, we find also polyvinyl caps, to reduce the friction of the wheels, and a metal rod as driving wheel axle. As aftermarkets, I used a turned aluminium barrel by Jordi Rubio (art. TG-36) and single-link tracks by Dragon.
The assembling, as I expected, has been very easy and flawless, with no filling needed. I chose to build everything out-of-the-box, apart from the aftermarkets mentioned above. As an additional detail, I made the turret texture —originally cast from sand moulds— with a specific product by True Earth, Rough casting – Antiskid (art. TEC 006).
Achieving the effect is not difficult, just shake and stir well the product, then lay it with a paintbrush onto the surface, one or two coats. The result is quite realistic.
The base color is the one shown in the instruction sheet, that is the Tamiya XF-61 Dark Green, later desaturated with XF-57 Buff in different ratios. Before the application, however, I made a black preshading.
After that, I chose to try another True Earth product (art. TECP 02).
It's a scratchable white paint suitable for winter camouflages: just lay it with paintbrush or airbrush, wait an amount of time (from half an hour to some hours), then brush it away with a moist paintbrush.
I wanted to paint a winter camouflage, but I waited too little and I removed almost all the color. Nonetheless, the overall effect is satisfactory.
In the first stage of weathering I painted the scratches, both with a paintbrush and with the sponge technique, mainly in the zone with most transit of the crew. I used a dark brown color, somewhere with a light green border to simulate the partially scratched paint. After that, I made a Raw Umber filter and a selective wash with Van Dyck Brown, plus an additional one, in Mars Black, onto the road wheels and engine grids.
Then I used Mig pigments to simulate both rust and earth and dust effects on tracks and lower hull. I also rubbed a pencil on the treads and teeth of the tracks, in order to render the worn metal, and painted rust streaks using Burnt Sienna oil color. Finally, I mixed black acrylic and clear gloss in order to simulate fuel spills on the external drums.
Here are the photos of the finished model of the T-34/85 tank.